Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Time Mag: Perils of Plastic

A new article about “Environmental Toxins” from a special edition of Time Magazine is kicking up some dust in the plastics world this week - and it (re)substantiates one of the main reasons to Rise Above Plastics. It details the poisons (mainly BPA and phthalates) used in making food-grade plastics and how our government and industry control – or don’t control – their eventual "release", as consumer products. It’s a quick read, chock full of great info…and stellar quotes, here are a couple:

If you don't have BPA in your body, you're not living in the modern world.

The dose may still make the poison, but we'll never know unless we test the chemical soup we actually experience in the world — unless, that is, we find the environmentally relevant dose. There's been a tendency to ask the old questions in the old way," says Linda Birnbaum [head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences]. "But if it's dark and you only look for your keys under the lamppost and they're not right there, you'll never find them."

...don't forget the mind-boggling revelations, like this one, either:

If you want to market a new drug, you need to convince the FDA — in multiple tests, over the course of years — that it won't cause serious harm. But if you want to market a new chemical for use in a product — even one that will come into contact with children or pregnant women — it's up to the EPA to prove that it's unsafe, using whatever data are provided by the chemical company…

Read it and you'll find that the current administration in Washington may act to breath life back into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – a 34 year-old law set that has sat largely dormant since its inception and lacks needed updates that accommodate chemicals that have come into widespread use since then.

Bon appétit!